NORWICH – The Norwich Family YMCA has reached phase two of its special reopening process, but is struggling as approximately 30 percent of members return to Ys nationwide.
According to Norwich Family YMCA Executive Director Jamey Mullen, the Y’s reopening committee which is composed of staff, members, board representatives, and individuals from the community will meet this week to determine what the next phase of reopening will entail as the community center fights to meet its budget.
Mullen said in an effort to help, the Norwich YMCA is asking the community to join, to return, and to keep memberships going to help support general operations. Mullen added that the Y is down approximately $320,000, and to help cut costs the Y has also modified when they are open.
He said starting on September 8 the facility’s hours changed to 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“It’s not a 5k road race, it’s a marathon,” he added. “The Y has been here in Norwich for 158 years, we’ve survived the Depression, we’ve survived the stock crash, we’ll survive this too.”
Mullen said in the meantime safety at the Y continues to be the main priority, and currently access to the building is limited to members with masks. He said racquetball, pickleball, the track, and the pool are all open. He added that the fitness center can accommodate 27 people at a time.
“Right now we’re missing youth sports, basketballs, things like that,” said Mullen. “I’ve had members that I’m talking to cry because they were so emotional about being able to come back.”
“Membership is down right now, but I don’t want that to overshadow all of the people who have come back.”